criminal justice

Profiteering From Prisons: The Cost of Reading
prisoner reading
Tom Swiss Tue, 02/18/2020 - 11:05

Incarceration is a racket. We've heard a lot the past few years about how awful privately owned prisons are, but an underexplored issue is the profiteering of vendors of inmate services. From telecommunication companies that charge outrageous fees to let inmates speak to their families (or lawyers!), to charging inmates by the minute to read books, it's a wealth transfer from the bottom to the top. Capitalism at its finest.

Nashville Courts Sued for Using Bail As Down Payments For Fines

Posted on: Sat, 02/15/2020 - 10:08 By: Tom Swiss
generic criminal justice image

The purpose of bail is to help ensure that a defendant shows up for trial. But in a bold new way to wring money out of poor defendants, Davidson County, Tennessee (the county corresponding to the city of Nashville), the courts are taking that money as a down payment on fines the defendant may owe if convicted. This means that if family or friends help someone make bail, they're not just putting their money on their relative or friend showing up for their day court, they are gambling against conviction.

NYC teacher fired for teaching about Central Park 5
Tom Swiss Fri, 01/08/2016 - 18:52

If the truth will rile people up, then the people much not learn the truth. Authoritarianism at its finest.

NYC high school teacher claims she was fired for Central Park Five lessons that administrators feared would create 'riots' (www.nydailynews.com)

A teacher at an Upper West Side high school was fired for creating a curriculum with lessons about the Central Park Five that administrators feared would “rile up” black students, according to a new federal lawsuit.

English teacher Jeena Lee-Walker said her bosses at the High School for Arts, Imagination and Inquiry urged her in November 2013 to be more “balanced” in her approach to the racially charged Central Park jogger case that ended with five black and Latino teens being exonerated after spending several years in prison for the attack.

They told her the lessons could create little “riots,” according to court papers.

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